There is only one seat at the table that can make all things right.
Even amidst the wrapping paper shrapnel, glowing faces and squeals of delight, Christmas morning can have an intangible loneliness. Perhaps it's the glaring absence of a beloved brother, father, mother or grandparent whose seat will sit vacant today, emptied by broken relationship, illness or death.
We can't help but notice the ache in our hearts on this day, as the ancient groan of sin reminds us that life is not yet perfect. Even the supreme joy of family and presents, of heart and hymns, of firelight and feasting can't heal our betrayals, our grief or our losses. There is only one seat at the table that can make all things right.
"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Look! God's dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be His people and God Himselfd will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. THere will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, 'I am making everything new!' Then He said, 'Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." Revelation 21:3
On this day, the Eternal Father set the remedy in motion. The Christ Child was given and is coming again. He will dwell among us. He will pull up a chair, carve into the turkey and make all things new. Death will not rob us ever again. Tears will not cloud the beauty of our vision.
He will be among us and that will be enough.
Escape for a moment from the happy chaos of today and tell Jesus all your hurts. Tell Him who you miss and what you regret. Feel His nearness. Hear Him whisper, 'I am coming again. We will laugh and dine and linger long at the table and your every ache will be eternally lifted."
A Christmas Prayer
You step into the darkest part of our winter and the darkest parts of our souls. For the one who is suffering in secret shame, come close and set them free. For the one who is heavy with the absence of a beloved father, mother, parent or child, step into their grief and hold them close this Christmas. Catch their every tear and whisper You are making all things right. For the one who is brimming with secret joy and delight, rejoice with them and make their memories ever sweeter. Enter into our pain. Be with us in our joy. Walk through our hallways and bedrooms and living rooms as we laugh and feast, as we open presents and tell stories and delight in one another. Pervade every part of Christmas. You are the reason. You are the breath in our lungs. You are the Christ Child given and so we also give.
In Jesus name,
A Christmas Benediction
As you make room in your hearts and homes for Jesus this Christmas, go in the peace of the Prince of Peace, Immanuel, our Risen Lord. Celebrate with unshakeable joy the Infant King who came and is coming again.
For more beautiful, liturgical prayers, check out Every Moment Holy Volume III